ASTANA – President Nursultan Nazarbayev awarded Tajik President Emomali Rahmon during a March 14 meeting in Astana the Order of “Parasat” for achievements in deepening Kazakh-Tajik relations.
“Over all these years, thanks to your leadership, we have built relations of great trust, cooperation and friendship. We have never had unresolved issues. We have always supported each other, including in the international arena,” said Nazarbayev, who also announced the renaming of a street in Astana in honour of Tajik poet and philosopher Rudaki.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, which Nazarbayev said he believes is on the verge of entering a more advanced stage.
“We are ready to discuss with you any questions and solve them. Moreover, the heads of neighbouring states are coming. Tomorrow, we will have the opportunity to meet each other again. I know that this year you will have a conference on water resources management. Kazakhstan supports this initiative,” said Nazarbayev.
Rahmon thanked the Kazakh President for the award, invited the Kazakh leader to Tajikistan and praised Nazarbayev’s leadership.
“With every visit to Kazakhstan, I see how quickly the image of its capital Astana is changing. These achievements, first of all, are the results of your wise and farsighted policy,” said the President of Tajikistan.
Tajikistan also often supports Kazakh foreign policies, for example, supporting Kazakhstan’s non-permanent membership on the UN Security Council and its accession to the World Trade Organisation, as well as initiatives to establish the Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS) and host EXPO 2017 in Astana.
Rahmon also said bilateral trade and economic relations are developing rapidly and that Tajikistan would like to expand those relations..
“Kazakhstan is the second among Tajikistan’s leading economic partners in terms of trade turnover. We are interested in developing comprehensive and strategic relations between our countries,” added President Rahmon.
Bilateral trade totalled $776 million in 2017, a 31.5 percent increase over 2016. Both leaders expressed confidence during the meeting that bilateral trade can reach $1 billion by increasing business contacts, creating a business council and, possibly, by launching direct Astana-Dushanbe airline flights.
The two leaders also signed a joint statement and three agreements related to returning citizens, visitors’ stays in each country and migration.
The two countries’ ministries of foreign affairs also signed a cooperation programme for 2018-2019, while seven memorandums of understanding concerning such issues as social affairs, labour and employment, public service and antimonopoly policy were signed. The bilateral legal framework encompasses more than 80 treaties and agreements.